“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the Decay.
1336 Telugu Prince Harihararaya chooses Hampi as his new Capital city of the Vijayanagara Empire. Over the next couple of centuries it grows into the largest Hindu Empires in Indian history. The Portuguese refer to it as a “wealthy and grand city” and at its zenith over half a million people will call it home in 1500 AD as it is deemed to be the 2nd largest medieval city behind Beijing. It’s prosperity attracts traders from far and wide and that jealousy leads to…
1565: A confederacy of Deccan Sultanates defeat the Army of the Vijayanagara Empire including the capture and beheading of the King Aliya Rama Raya and over the course of six months loot and raze Hampi to the ground destroying the kingdom forever.
2014: Celtic Emmissaries arrive and discover the ruins of this once thriving metropolis. They come bearing messages for those back home.
A number of days were spent exploring the Hampi Site as it is vast (36 sq. km and 3,700 individual monuments).
The commute from the hostel was one of sheer terror and laughter. Bikes, Motorbikes, bags, buggies. Everything gets on the rickety boats necessary to cross the Tungabhadra River.
For the small price of 10 Rupees you too can experience a river crossing as wild as this.
The river crossing from Virupapur Gaddi to Hampi Bazaar is the closest feeling to storming the Normandy beaches in Allied Landing Craft. You are tightly packed in and are braced for the crash landing on the rocks/beach. Once landed you have to scramble up the river bank dodging hawkers and tour guides like incoming machine gun fire. Exhilarating!
Once landed the camera is un-holstered and the snapping begins. Hampi and it’s surrounds is one of the most beautiful places in the world (Sorry Connemara you have been relegated!). A collection of still standing temples, ruins, unexplainable rock formations and statues gives the whole place a magical feeling.
Highlights were the Vittala and Virupaksha Temples, Pushkarani stepped baths and the royal viewing platform (Mahanavami-diiba) but everything is pretty awesome here.
Thanks to Karen’s friend Kamila who recommended Hampi to us.